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Succession at Celtic

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I have no doubt this morning’s press reports on Celtic’s plans for the months ahead are correct.  We are told the club “is planning an overhaul of their football operations in the summer that would see significant changes to their set-up.”  There is a great deal you can surmise from that statement.

“Overhaul… of football operations”, “significant changes”, leaves zero doubt Neil Lennon will be moving on and suggests wider changes are likely.  It is also safe to assume Neil is on-board with this and has agreed to remain in charge until the end of the season, or a suitable replacement arrives.

Neil would not go through this torture were it not out of a sense of responsibility towards the players, several of whom he personally convinced to stay for this ‘important season’.  Malicious talk of holding out for a payoff is well wide of the mark.

What is also clear is that Celtic are not happy to appoint any manager who is prepared to come to the club right now.  This precludes those out of work, or those who are not prepared to ‘Do a Brendan’ and leave their current project with trophies still to be won and lost.

The new industry is not always as helpful.  Last night reports that betting was suspended on Eddie Howe getting the job received plenty of clicks.  Eddie has his eyes on a different target and will almost certainly pick up an English Premiership job this year.  He is as likely to come to Celtic as another fantasy appointment, Mauricio Pochettino, was, before choosing Paris when he could have made his home in Glasgow.  If only it was that easy.

If we take the ‘Get real’ suggestions off the table, I know the photo fit you are working with.  Someone who has over-performed in a different environment, who is technically razor sharp and can bring knowledge of a value market.

They will have a successful track record, one that is short enough that they have not already moved up the food chain, but one longer than Ronny Deila’s mercurial rise at Stromsgodset.  We now know that the skills required to achieve one season of spectacular success is Norway does not automatically equip a manager for what on paper looks an easier task.  The Goldilocks candidate, enough of a spectacular record, but not too much that they have already got their move.

The quick fix if Neil leaves is John Kennedy as interim or someone, like Ronny, who cannot believe he’s been offered the Celtic job.  Or let Neil complete the season and attempt to add the Scottish Cup and leave his second term trophy report reading 6 out of 8.  I am not recommending either option, it’s too complicated to sit on the outside and suggest a fix with any conviction – not matter how convinced this is an easy one, it’s not.

If Neil remains until the end of the season it will not be because he needs the money, or because he deserves the respect of a Celtic hero (although he does), it is because the business of succession has to be settled.  My preference would be to spend these months doing reconnaissance; better to do it right than to do it early, but the galleries have loved a blood letting since the Colosseum, we know how it works.

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  1. Weebobbycollins on

    Go Tell…he’s not a bigot. He may be other things but not a bigot.

     

    He was married in St Alphonsus’ chapel. Bigots surely don’t get married in the chapel…

  2. Can we please stop saying words like “Gary Caldwell” or “Roy Keane” please……….

     

    Lockdoon is tuff enuff.

     

     

    Thanks.

  3. Go tell the Spartim on

    WeBobbyCollins

     

     

    He disguises it well, let’s say Celtic hater then? Maybe one of the few at the bbc that can see that supporting Celtic and being catholic is not the same

  4. GlenD…………….

     

     

    We’ll need to start a List!!!!

     

     

    …and a bigger couch!

     

     

    ;)

     

     

    HH

  5. Did not check the blog yesterday as I was feeling very angry about things Celtic, so I stayed off the site.

     

     

    SFTB. Sorry for your loss. Will pray for Colm and will also put up a prayer for Marie Rua. May they rest in peace.

     

     

    Hamilton Tim, I also missed news of your 50th Birthday. So many happy returns, my friend.

  6. Weebobbycollins on

    Go Tell…I was a friend of his father who was a character and a half. He was a great football playing man and a celtic sympathiser…

  7. An Tearman- all good here, I hope you are holding up well.

     

     

    I cannot wait until I meet some more of CQN’s finest and we can sit over a pint and talk about Celtic and life in general.

     

     

    Hail Hail and stay safe.

     

     

    D :)

  8. lets all do the huddle on

    not a good day for irish sport so far

     

     

    the cricket team just got pumped by the mighty afghanistan again

     

     

    but its a brit imperialist sport anyway :-)

     

     

    and mcilroy had a pish final round in the golf after starting it in the lead

     

     

    but he’s a brit anyway :-)

  9. lets all do the huddle on 24th January 2021 12:52 am

     

     

    incredible scenes up in the sky tonight

     

     

    you can see the space station charging along

     

     

    ——————-

     

     

    I have a few space apps, one of which gives an alert when ISS is passing overheard, I never tire of seeing that wonder in the sky.

  10. ernie lynch

     

     

    I think the accused should now be the police officers who pursued the criminal prosecution, all the way to London don’t forget, and those at the Crown Office, if you like, who sanctioned it, chief of whom is the Lord Advocate who is indeed a appointee of the Scottish Government. Lets see how high it goes, but I will say this, you appear to have a higher regard for the COPFS than I do. Police Scotland will obviously be hoping that by throwing public money at the problem, it will go away. Not any time soon.

  11. Go tell the Spartim on

    WeeBobbyCollins

     

     

    Good to hear there was some Celtic sympathy within his genes, there always hope but then the BBC are his paymasters and subject to their editorial policy.

  12. Weebobbycollins on

    Go Tell…bbc paymasters, exactly.

     

    I remember some years ago walking across the football pitches in Knightswood. There was a game taking place and a lot of noise coming from there. I wandered over and as I approached I could hear one voice aggressively shouting over all the others. It was Kenny McIntyre senior giving everyone pelters…referee, opponents and teammates. He was already in his fifties at that time.

     

    Tremendous character…

  13. HeraldScotland Iain Macwhirter: Like a fish, Scotland’s Crown Office is rotting from the head down 29

     

    NEWS

     

    6 hrs ago

     

    Iain Macwhirter: Like a fish, Scotland’s Crown Office is rotting from the head down

     

     

    By Iain Macwhirter

     

    Political Editor

     

    (2)

     

    29 comments

     

    FOURTEEN million, £20 million, £24 million – the eye-watering sum in damages being awarded to the administrators wrongly prosecuted for fraud over the Rangers bankruptcy, seems to grow larger by the day.

     

     

    It is reliably reported that the two men, Paul Clark and David Whitehouse, have already banked £10m apiece. That’s £10m! Each.

     

     

    When various legal fees are included the bill is now bumping against £24m and could rise still further.

     

     

    But that is not all.

     

     

    The Lord Advocate himself, James Wolffe QC, will shortly make a public apology to the two men for having pursued a “malicious prosecution” against them “without probable cause”.

     

     

    “Malicious”, note. Not just mistaken in law, or based on unreliable evidence, but acting with malice: with the intention of personally injuring two innocent citizens.

     

     

    Forget reputational damage to the Crown Office – this is reputational obliteration.

     

     

    This is causing a lot of people concern – in and out of the rarified world that is Scots law.

     

     

    This is such an epic story, you might also wonder why it is not dominating the Scottish and even the UK front pages right now. Admittedly, there has been a lot going on with Covid and Joe Biden, but this is a scandal without precedent.

     

     

    It suggests that Scotland’s prosecution service is rotting, like a fish, from the head down.

     

     

    It was only because Clark and Whitehouse were so dogged in their determination to clear their names that the truth finally came out. The administrators in the Rangers case spent many years and millions of pounds pursing their claim which they finally won outright last week.

     

     

    The Crown Office admitted in an earlier Court of Session hearing that they had been acting “unlawfully” and in “violation of human rights law”. In other words, like some dodgy state prosecutor in a banana republic.

     

     

    The Herald’s Martin Williams deserves great praise for his tenacious pursuit of this complex story week by week. All the more admirable in that he has in the past been accused of being biased against Rangers. Football is politics in Scotland.

     

     

    For reasons lost in the mists of time, independence supporters and many journalists tend to be pro-Celtic, while unionists and many businessmen have lined up behind the Rangers flag. They fight it out on Twitter day by day. But Martin has remained a dedicated follower of the only club that matters: team truth.

     

     

    Another reason, perhaps, why the case has not cut through is public confusion over the role of the Lord Advocate. He is not, as some people assume, a judge or a member of the independent judiciary. He is a political appointee, a minister in Nicola Sturgeon’s Government, who acts as the Government’s own lawyer as well as being head of the prosecution service, the Crown Office.

     

     

    The former SNP Justice Secretary, Kenny MacAskill, has called for Wolffe to resign forthwith, and for these twin roles to be separated, so that there is no longer this potential for political interference.

     

     

    There is surely a conflict of interest in being a creature of the First Minister of Scotland as well as head of the Scottish prosecution service. This is all the more problematic because of other legal scandals in which politics and the law have become explosively intertwined.

     

     

    There are disturbing parallels between the pursuit of Clark and Whitehouse and the reckless behaviour of the Scottish Government in pursuing the former First Minister, Alex Salmond, through the courts.

     

     

    Lord Advocate Wolffe has “recused” himself from the Salmond harassment inquiry in Holyrood, which means he has to turn a blind eye to what his Crown office minions have been up to.

     

     

    But Kenny MacAskill, a

     

     

    time-served lawyer himself as well as a former Justice Secretary, regards that as largely a bureaucratic fiction.

     

     

    James Wolffe is still the man ultimately in charge of the prosecution service, which pursued the former First Minister, on those sex harassment and attempted rape charges that were thrown out by a female-led jury last March.

     

     

    What led to that legal fiasco was the “tainted” and “unlawful” findings of the botched civil service disciplinary inquiry conducted under the Permanent Secretary, Leslie Evans.

     

     

    Ms Evans is another figure still miraculously in post despite having been responsible for losing large amounts of public money.

     

     

    On behalf of the Scottish Government, she pursued a hopeless case against Salmond in the Court of Session in 2019 which led to the award of “exemplary” costs of £500,000 – paid for by you and me.

     

     

    Mind you, that is chickenfeed compared with the £20-£24m of taxpayers’ money that has been blown by her friends in the Crown Office.

     

     

    There appears to be disturbing similarity of conduct, even a modus operandi, in both the Rangers and the Salmond cases.

     

     

    Paul Clark and David Whitehouse’s lawyers were blocked at every turn when they tried to get to the bottom of why their clients had been put through this malicious and unlawful prosecution.

     

     

    They eventually winkled out messages in which senior law officers talked of the need to “nail these … guys”.

     

     

    The committee convener Linda Fabiani wrote to Lord Advocate Wolffe in November asking him to release any documents “relevant” to the committee’s investigation from Salmond’s criminal trial.

     

     

    The Crown Office wrote back saying there was “no legal basis” for this request and that releasing witness statements would leave “a significant risk that this would undermine public confidence in both the police and the Crown Office”.

     

     

    You might think it would be hard for public confidence to be undermined any further than it already has been.

     

     

    Nicola Sturgeon has also refused to disclose her Government’s legal advice. Yet she told the committee when it convened last year that it would have all the access to documents that it needed.

     

     

    She forgot to add: except any that look bad for us or the Lord Advocate.

     

     

    The Crown Office also threatened Alex Salmond with prosecution if he released any of the incriminating material he has himself seen during his judicial review and his court case.

     

     

    The Crown Office has similarly been dead-batting the attempts by the Holyrood committee investigating the botched Salmond affair to get sight of court documents which Alex Salmond has told them about and which shed important light on what happened.

     

     

    The prosecutors and senior politicians are in an incestuous embrace. There is evasion and lack of transparency.

     

     

    I fear there is a culture of collusion and cover up, and I believe there is an ethical void at the prosecution service. This is intolerable in a democracy. There is ample evidence that the Crown Office is not fit for purpose and it’s time for the legal establishment and Holyrood to wake up and act to arrest this decay before it becomes irreversible.

  14. SFTB…condolences on the passing of Colm, may he rest in peace…sounds like he was a bit of a character

     

     

    Does anyone have a link to the Michael Andersen documentary on Don Patricio (Patrick O’Connell)…tried utube….can only find a 5 min intro TIA

  15. GuyFawkesaforeverhero on

    SID1888 on 24th January 2021 11:46AM

     

     

    If the Celtic Trust wets your whistle, then good luck to you. I hope you have a good experience with it.

     

     

    I paid the membership fee for a number of seasons in the early 2000s, at the time I was drawn to the collective idea of Celtic fans massing momentum. I didn’t sign over my shares to it as proxy at any time and my interest waned.

     

     

    Navel-gazers from the main stand I decided. Doubtless some from those days will be in the soft seats in the North Stand by now. I laughed to read David Low recently include the Trust’s defence of the current away ticket allocation process in a list of achievements. Sums them up, I thought.

     

     

    It’s perfectly proper for the Trust to use membership fees to buy shares in the club, so I would applaud the recent £4,000 transaction if it represents 200 new members paying a £20 annual fee say.

     

     

    Completely different though to invite members to send the Trust further monies with which to buy future shares in its name. A disgraceful idea to take form, aping club 1872’s activity. Keep your wallet in your pocket.

  16. What is the Stars on

    David66

     

    Re Paddy O’Connell

     

    An impressive list of clubs

     

    But you left out the big one

     

    Liffey Wanderers..A junior club from Pearse Street Dublin,the only football club to be mentioned in James Joyce’s epic Ulysses.

     

    Still going strong,winning the FAI Junior cup in 2015 and FAI Intermediate Cup in 2017.Captained that day by young man who played schoolboy football with the great Jonny Hayes…You see it always comes back to The Celtic

  17. Go tell the Spartim on

    WeeBoBbyCollins

     

     

    You never stop learning in football, I’m a bit too old for 11 a side but still hold my own at fives (I’m being overly optimistic) till old Father Time sets in, but always go home having learned something even if it’s just another novel slagging.

     

     

    Obviously I’ve not played fives since it was shut 😇

  18. So, we have established that signing Brendan Rodgers as manager actually made us money.

     

     

    I am absolutely gobsmacked by many on here who have such a low expection on the calibre of manager we should sign.

     

     

    The manager is by far the most important cog in the wheel. Subsequently:-

     

    If we have ambition then we must acquire a manager to match our expectations.

     

     

    What is the point of a first class 60,000 seater stadium if we are happy with a third rate manager?

     

     

    How can we attract quality players to sign for a third rate manager ?

     

     

    Why do we need a record breaking sponsorship deal with Adidas if we are content with a 3rd rate manager.?

     

     

    Why do we need a world class training facility if we are happy with a 3rd rate manager?

     

     

    Why should we aspire to having the most season tickets in these islands if we have a 3rd rate manager?

     

     

    Why should we have a state of the art lighting system if we have a 3rd rate manager ?

     

     

    We easily have the potential to be £100m + club again, but only if we get the correct calibre of manager to rebuild us.

     

     

    Acceptance of mediocrity should not be a Celtic trait.

     

    As a club we have so much to offer, but if we cannot even convince our own supporters of our worth then I truely despair?

     

     

    It seems we are not only happy to sit in the back of the bus, we actually expect it.

     

     

    Believe.

  19. Bada…now I may have imagined it, but is the Lord Advocate Wolfe not immune from any sort of retrospective action and that there are moves to change this?

  20. I think as Paul67 alluded to, we’d either be in the market for someone up and coming or someone who’d just finished their last job on a bit of a low point. Howe was relegated with Bournemouth and Rodgers was sacked at Liverpool after their worst start to a season in 50 years.

     

     

    With that in mind, has David Wagner been mentioned? Granted, it went pear-shaped with Schalke but that club is a real basket-case.

     

     

    A club and manager in need of a boost – could be a good fit.

  21. lets all do the huddle on

    I have a few space apps, one of which gives an alert when ISS is passing overheard, I never tire of seeing that wonder in the sky.

     

     

     

    its not often we get a totally clear night like last nite. sat at the kitchen wimdow half canned late last nite and just stared up at it for 20 minutes

     

     

    not sure what i was expecting to happen :-)

     

     

    but a marvellous sight anyway

  22. CELTIC MAC on 24TH JANUARY 2021 1:13 PM

     

     

    I suspect that the whole case involving the administrators hinges on the legal status of any incriminatory evidence (was it privileged?) and the means used to obtain it.

     

     

    I also suspect that plod were incompetent in how they went about their business and the Crown Office were not up to the job in sorting out the mess they were presented with.

     

     

    The bigger picture though is that under the SNP the Crown Office and Police Scotland no longer can be regarded as independent of the government. The culture of both institutions has changed. It’s quite sinister what has been allowed to happen.

  23. prestonpans bhoys on

    Watching ST Pauli game, after their second goal they certainly don’t do social distancing😵

  24. 67 European Cup Winners on

    GREENPINATA on 24TH JANUARY 2021 1:27 PM

     

    Because a top Manager will not work with PL

     

    And more importantly PL will not work with a top manager particularly if he has an opinion, a personality and will want a say in what players we recruit

     

     

    67ECW

  25. 67 EUROPEAN CUP WINNERS on 24TH JANUARY 2021 1:49 PM

     

     

    Also, what is a “top” manager? Klopp, Pep, Ancelotti, Allegri?

     

     

    Fair to say, these guys won’t be coming…..no point wasting our time and humiliating ourselves publically by chasing people who won’t come or who we can’t afford, then putting off genuine targets as they’ll publically know they were second-choice.

     

     

    As Paul67 says, it’ll be a manager who has just had a hard time of it in his last job or an up-and-coming manager where of course the risk is, he’ll be unproven.

     

     

    It’s never an easy balance but we can’t afford to get it wrong.

  26. OneNightInLisbon,

     

    Going by your blog moniker,I am surprised by your comment about”Past glory wallowers”.

  27. MADMITCH,

     

    How exactly do you know DD is doing nothing.Not interested.I would be extremely interested in your inside track on these matters.

     

    Then again,maybe its just a load of bollox.

  28. lets All Do The Huddle………….Cricket an English game? Documentary shown a couple of weeks ago on RTE maintains that cricket started in the south east of Ireland back in the 18th century called Cattie meaning to bowl or throw and played by Irish soldiers in the British army and in the colonies when stationed abroad. The ball was bowled into a crois and hit with a stick hence the word crease now a cricket term.